When you're making your list of things to do before, during and after your move, don't forget to include your pets.
Moving can be stressful, even dangerous, for pets if their interests are not taken into consideration. Here are some things to consider. Planning If yours is a company-sponsored move, find out what pet-moving costs the company is willing to cover. Check vaccination records to ensure your pet's immunizations are up-to-date. If they're almost due for vaccinations, get them done before you leave, and have any needed prescriptions refilled, so you won't have to worry about it upon arrival at your new home. Obtain veterinary records early and keep them with you on moving day. Find out whether the state or country you are moving to requires additional paperwork, such as a health certificate.
If shipping pets by air, it's best to book the pet on a direct flight. Find out about airline requirements and restrictions. Make reservations at least two weeks ahead for domestic travel and four weeks ahead for international flights. Note that during peak travel times, scheduled airlines with a full passenger load will restrict acceptance of pets. In addition, airlines may not accept pets for transportation in the cargo hold when ground temperatures are above 85F or below 45F. Make sure you have a back-up plan in case your pet is refused boarding at the last minute.
If you'll be transporting them by car, and your dog or cat isn't used to traveling that way, acclimate them ahead of time with frequent and progressively longer jaunts to the store, gas station or other destination. Caution! Pets should never be left in a car alone, whether on a short trip or a long one. Sun pouring in through wind-shields can quickly spike a car's temperature to well above 100F even in cool months and when windows are cracked open. Your pets can suffer irreversible injury or death within a matter of minutes. Also if you'll be driving, find out which hotels along the way accept pets and be sure to make reservations. If you'll be stopping to sight-see along the way, make plans for lodging your animals at a local kennel or animal hospital. Order ID tags with your new address on them.
Find a familiar, quiet place for the pet to wait as you prepare to leave.
Ship pets in a roomy carrier, at least large enough so the animal can stand and turn around. Make sure your pets will have water available, and food too if the trip is likely to last more than eight hours. It's best, however, if the amount of food is cut back several hours before the it begins. Traveling by car, be sure to keep animals in their travel cages or on leashes at all times. Dogs and cats should be allowed regular comfort and exercise stops along the way. Bring a few toys along to keep them occupied.
Upon Arrival Help pets quickly adjust to the new home by giving them their old toys, beds and bowls as soon as possible. For dogs (and some cats) an early walk in the new neighborhood will help them get oriented.} Ask neighbors or co-workers to recommend a nearby veterinarian. Note that if your move is for the purpose of a change of employment, your pet-moving expenses may be tax deductible. Consult IRS Publication 521, "Moving Expenses," for further information. If you have questions, we can help.